Hong Kong

Insider Talking: November 30, 2002

The British Columbia Securities Commission has scheduled a hearing for December 10 11, 2002 to consider applications to vary asset freeze orders relating to accounts at the Bank of Montreal in Vancouver that were frozen in 2000 as part of

Self-dealing CEO Gregory Pek retires from Brek Energy

Canadian national Gregory Pek has retired as President and CEO of loss making Brek Energy, formerly First Ecom.com, and been replaced by 57 year old Richard Jeffs.Pek stepped down only a few months after overseeing Brek's purchase for $770,000 of

United Kingdom: Neil Edward Walker et al

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in the United Kingdom into Neil Edward Walker, James George Thomas Brooman, Ian David Cale, Irnraan Abid Karim, Barrie John Connor, Timothy Theobald, David Hodgson, Simon Morley, Craig Mark Ireland and Iftekhar Ahmed for alleged tax fraud.

United Kingdom: Nathan Meyyappan et al

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner for a criminal investigation in the United Kingdom into Nathan Meyyappan, Richard Parfett and Ronan Moss for allegedly dishonestly receiving stolen goods, dishonestly arranging to receive stolen goods, conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to receive stolen goods.

Three convicted drug dealers own preferred shares in The Harris Organization

New evidence obtained by OffshoreAlert shows that THREE convicted drug dealers are beneficial owners of the British Virgin Islands-registered parent of The Harris Organization financial services group. The traffickers all own preferred shares, which purport to pay annual interest of 10% in the case of Wallace Stull and James Somerville, and 7% for Lawrence Boulanger.

Sweden: Sven Olof Gothe

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence for a criminal investigation in Sweden into Sven Olof Gothe and Carl-Gustav Backman for alleged embezzlement, breach of trust and bribery.

US court approves application to serve summonses on VISA International for tax evasion investigation

A California court has approved a request by the Internal Revenue Service for leave to file "John Doe" summonses on VISA International as part of an investigation into tax evasion using offshore credit cards. The order, issued on March 28, 2002, allows the IRS to examine the records of VISA credit or debit cards issued "by, through, or on behalf of banks or other financial institutions" in 31 offshore jurisdictions.

Stirling Cooke and First Ecom.com face NASDAQ de-listing

Bermuda-based insurance broker Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings and offshore-owned electronic payments processor First Ecom.com, which is funded largely with offshore money, face having their shares de-listed from in the first half of 2002 unless their stock prices improve. They have until February 11 to get their stocks above the $1 minimum bid that is required for continued listing on the NASDAQ National Market.

Reorganization continues at scandal-plagued Imperial Consolidated

Michael Gilbert, who was severely criticized by a New Zealand judge in a recent court ruling (see separate story), is part of a reorganization that involves the Imperial Consolidated Group and companies with the prefix 'Alpha'.The firm that he is a director of changed its name from Imperial Consolidated (New Zealand) Ltd. to Alpha Equities Asia-Pacific (NZ) Ltd. on November 29, 2001.

Mexican police arrest Andy Mann

Joseph Andy Mann, who is a client of Nevis-based offshore provider Robin Cotterell, was arrested on or around July 23 in Mexico, where he lives.At the end of the month, he was still in custody pending the outcome of extradition proceedings, said a source.

Leon Brener v. Malcolm Alan Novack et al: Complaint

Complaint in Leon Brener v. Malcolm Alan Novack, Marilyn Novack, Watermark (International) Holdings Ltd., Buckingham Holdings International Ltd., Pembroke Trading Company Ltd., and Gabelle Holdings Ltd. at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

First Ecom.com share price falls below $1, jeopardizes NASDAQ listing

Electronic credit card processing firm First Ecom.com, whose plight was highlighted in the previous edition of Offshore Alert, officially became a penny stock during December. On December 27, 2000, the company's share price fell to just 59 cents on the full NASDAQ system, compared with a high of $34 on the over-the-counter market just ten months earlier.

Court rejects Price Waterhouse bill of $76 m for 63 days of liquidation work

A Hong Kong judge has hit out at the provisional liquidators of the Bermuda-registered Peregrine Group after they and their legal advisers charged fees of $76 million for just 63 days of work. Doreen Le Pichon, Judge of the Court of First Instance High Court, said she was "greatly troubled by the amount involved" and refused to accept the charges of accounting firm Price Waterhouse and its legal advisers unless they could prove the work was reasonable and necessary.